TSYS Signs GCA for Processing Services

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has executed a processing services
agreement with TSYS Acquiring Solutions. GCA will use TSYS’ processing services to connect with card associations
and electronic funds transfer networks to complete ATM cash withdrawals,
credit card cash advances and POS debit card transactions initiated by
the patrons of GCA’s casino customers. TSYS will provide processing
services for the majority of GCA’s world-wide operations. GCA’s products and services provide
gaming patrons access to cash through a variety of methods, including
ATM cash withdrawals, point-of-sale debit card transactions, credit card
cash advances, check verification and warranty services, and Western
Union money transfers.

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Debit Card/Payday Loan Scam Settles with FTC

The FTC has reached a settlement with VirtualWorks, LLC, a/k/a Virtual
Works, EverPrivate Card and Secret Cash Card, and f/k/a Private Date
Finder, over an alleged debit card scam. The FTC alleged that thousands
of consumers who applied for a payday loan online
were charged up to $54.95 for a prepaid debit card with a zero balance.
According to the FTC, the debit card company sold Visa- and
MasterCard-brand debit cards through a payday loan marketer whose Web
site homepages contained a loan application form and a button for
submitting it. On numerous Web sites, consumers who clicked the submit
button were taken to another page offering four products unrelated to
the loan, each with tiny “Yes” and “No” buttons. “No” was pre-clicked
for three of the products; “Yes” was pre-clicked for a debit card, with
fine-print disclosures asserting the consumers’ consent for their bank
account to be debited. Consumers who failed to change the debit card
offer to “No” and simply clicked the prominent button labeled “Finish
matching me with a payday loan provider!” incurred the fee for the debit
card. On other Web sites, the homepage touted the debit card
as a “bonus” and disclosed the enrollment fee only in the fine print
below the submit button.

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INTERCHANGE SETTLEMENT

The Commerce Commission and MasterCard have settled a dispute over interchange rate practices that mirrors the August 12th settlement with Visa. Under the settlement credit card issuers will now be able to individually set the interchange rates that will apply to transactions using their credit cards, subject to maximum rates determined by MasterCard, which will be publicly available. Merchants will no longer be prevented from applying surcharges to payments made by credit cards or by specific types of credit cards. Any surcharges will be disclosed to cardholders at the time of sale and bear a reasonable relationship to the merchant’s costs of accepting MasterCard products. Merchants will also be able to steer customers to pay by other means. Additionally, non-banks or companies who might wish to provide acquiring services to merchants are now permitted to join the MasterCard network as acquirers if they meet relevant financial and prudential criteria.

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Elavon Acquires the MB Financial Portfolio

Global payment provider Elavon has acquired the merchant processing
portfolio of IL-based MB Financial Bank. Elavon will provide its robust
payment processing solutions, customer service and support operations to
MB Financial Bank’s merchant customers.
The transition of merchant services to Elavon will not affect MB
Financial Bank clients’ banking relationships; however, merchants will
benefit from robust debit and credit card processing, a comprehensive
PCI Compliance Program, a choice of point-of-sale devices and software,
advanced e-commerce products, gift card solutions, electronic check
services, and enhanced reporting and industry-leading customer service.
In addition, new merchant services referrals to Elavon will be marketed
through the bank’s more than 70 branches across the greater Chicago
metropolitan area.

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Visa/MC Settle New Zealand Interchange Dispute

The New Zealand Commerce Commission and MasterCard have settled a dispute over interchange rate practices that mirrors the August 12th settlement with Visa. Under the settlement, credit card issuers will now be able to individually set the interchange rates that will apply to transactions using their credit cards, subject to maximum rates determined by Visa and MasterCard, which will be publicly available. Merchants will no longer be prevented from applying surcharges to payments made by credit cards or by specific types of credit cards. Any surcharges will be disclosed to cardholders at the time of sale and bear a reasonable relationship to the merchant’s costs of accepting MasterCard/Visa products. Merchants will also be able to steer customers to pay by other means. Additionally, non-banks or companies who might wish to provide acquiring services to merchants are now permitted to join the MasterCard or Visa networks as acquirers if they meet relevant financial and prudential criteria.

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Credit Card ABS Performance Improves in July

As expected performance metrics for U.S. credit card issuers improved in July, however it may only be a seasonal inflexion. The latest figures for credit card-backed securities shows delinquency nudged down eight basis points and charge-offs dropped 24 basis points from June. According to Moody’s “Credit Card Index” for U.S. ABS, the overall delinquency rate declined to 5.73% in July from 5.81% in June and compared to the March peak of 6.40%. It is at the lowest level of 2009.
Charge-offs dropped to 10.52% in July, marking the first month over month improvement in the charge-off rate index since September. The charge-off rate was a record-high 10.76% in June. The Moody’s index also shows payment rates rising sharply for the second consecutive month, reaching 17.43%, its highest point since October 2008. Additionally, the index yield surged ahead to 19.82% in July, a one hundred thirty
basis point improvement over the prior month, and its highest level since December of 2007.

U.S. ABS 2009 CREDIT CARD INDEX
DELINQUENCY CHARGE-OFFS
Jan: 5.94% 7.74%
Feb: 6.14% 8.82%
Mar: 6.40% 9.30%
Apr: 6.34% 9.97%
May: 5.97% 10.62%
Jun: 5.81% 10.76%
Jul: 5.73% 10.52%
Source: Moody’s

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AmEx Business Travel Launches eXpert insights

American Express Business Travel has launched “eXpert insights”
to help companies cut the costs of business trips. eXpert
insights will assist by identifying creative strategies within T&E
programs and will offer best practices for implementing new strategies.
“eXpert insights” offers access
to insights and advice backed by the industry’s largest database of
travel and expense data, representing more than $100 billion in T&E
spending, the collective knowledge of hundreds of consultants, and
decades of travel experience. The resource is offered through an annual
subscription available to companies of all sizes globally. The offering
also includes access to travel management consulting provided in hourly
increments for ad hoc needs, known as “eXpert on demand.”
Also announced today were savings opportunities identified in the
inaugural Best Practice Roadmap report “Creative Cost Savings in Air,” a
key deliverable of the eXpert insights subscription offerings. In addition to the monthly “Best Practices Roadmap” reports, subscribers
to eXpert insights will also receive eXpert industry insights, a monthly newsletter featuring supply
base analysis and managed travel program impact advice on the air,
hotel, car and meetings industries; The Business Travel Monitor and The annual Business Travel Forecast.

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ALI Preemptive Risk Management Gets Traction

Event-based analytic decision solution provider ALI has seven on-time
deployments of its preemptive risk management and collection solutions
by top lenders. A Top 5 US consumer bank and a residential mortgage servicer purchased
ALI’s “Intelligent Contact Suite” solutions for
automating and centralizing collections campaign management and
determining the best time to contact customers. A Top 5 US bank and a large international automotive finance company
licensed ALI’s “ActionOptimizer for Treatment Management”for determining the optimal actions or treatments for
each at-risk or delinquent customer. These organizations will use
ActionSelect to improve their collection rates and increase revenue.
ALI was chosen by three additional leading financial services companies
to develop analytic solutions that enable each company to identify risk
earlier, understand at-risk customers, and execute appropriate
risk-mitigating strategies. The three companies include a US-based
credit card issuer, an auto finance company, and one of the UK’s largest
retail banks.

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MasterCard to Offer CyberShift’s EMA Solution

MasterCard and CyberShift management software have partnered to provide
the latter’s “Expense Management Automation.” Offering MasterCard
issuers a travel and expense management solution and appealing to
corporate card customers, the partnership provides a flexible expense
management solution, open integration to travel booking systems of
choice, spend analytics, BlackBerry smartphone support, digital receipts
filing, hotel folio data and much more on the Software-as-a-Service
model. Automated data entry and the elimination of duplicate entry
achieves back-office time savings averaging 61% and cost savings
averaging 68%, according to a recent MasterCard study. CyberShift
“Expense” end-to-end solution allows for management of all business
travel and expense reporting.

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Discover Debuts the New Get Back Ad Campaign

Discover today launched a major new ad campaign to promote the rewards benefits of its credit card programs. The new “Get Back” TV spots will air on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show, “Medium” and “Lost.” Discover’s campaign includes one 30-second and three 15-second “Get Back” TV spots that will air interchangeably over the next four weeks. Seven print executions will run in Newsweek, Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle. Discover says the new ads were inspired by actual cardholder testimonials. A new brand element will be introduced in the opening and closing of the ads – a visual of a Discover card. The card rotates forward revealing the orange core, which then opens widely to showcase the first vignette. The closing brand cue provides another shot of the card as it rotates around and wipes the screen clear to reveal a distinctively recognizable tagline “It Pays to Discover.” The new advertising was developed in collaboration with The Martin Agency.

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Cap One and OneCause Empower PTA Credit Cards

Capital One and OneCause have teamed to enhance PTA fundraising. Under the partnership when local PTAs register for Capital One’s “Card Lab Connect” credit card affinity program for nonprofits, they can design a series of up to three credit cards for their organization. All rewards earned on these cards, including one percent of net purchases and an additional contribution of $25 for the first purchase made on every card, go directly to the national, state and local PTAs. PTA members’ daily purchases can also augment their contributions when card users shop through the OneCause.com site. The site features more than 750 top merchants and service providers, who contribute between 0.5% and 40% of online purchases to the cause of their choice. Users also receive coupons and special deals when they shop online through OneCause. To date, OneCause has helped more than 30,000 causes and schools nationwide receive more than $200 million in contributions.

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